Feasibility Study Assignment
The goal of a feasibility study is to determine whether to go forward with a project. In these cases, a project already has theoretical support, but we don’t know whether it is practical and reasonable to enact it. A feasibility study performs a cost-benefit analysis, paying specific attention to the local context of the project. Some studies are straightforward: should we undertake the project? Others are more complicated: which project of several should we undertake, if any?
Most feasibility studies are internal; they are documents an organization writes for itself to both make decisions and document decisions made. They are concerned, therefore, with the values, interests, and goals of the company, although those values, interests, and goals may involve outside parties.
For this assignment, you will choose a proposed project that either potentially solves an already-understood problem or which is an innovation within your assigned group. You may explore a project in your department, in a job you currently hold, or within your local community. You will then write a feasibility study exploring the practicality of this/these project(s) for the relevant decision-makers.
Some of the factors you’ll want to consider as you research, brainstorm, and explore this project and its feasibility:
- Is it economically feasible? What costs are involved? Are they reasonable? Can the budget cover them? Are there recurring or long-term costs to consider?
- Is it technologically feasible? Do we have the equipment we need? Does the equipment we need exist? Can we re-use the equipment if we purchase it? Is this the best technology available? Is this likely to be obsolete any time soon? What are the technological trade-offs?
- Is it organizationally feasible? Do we have the relevant expertise, training and skills? Can our employees undertake this project alongside the other things they’re already committed to? Do we have a management structure that can accommodate this project? How will employees react to this project?
- What other feasibility issues might arise? What other company values, procedures, or traditions might influence the practical feasibility of this project? If, for instance, we can afford a project, we have the time to do it and we have the technology, but it runs so counter to the organization’s culture that implementation would be a nightmare and likely destructive to employee morale and structure, then the project isn’t currently feasible.
In the end, your report should recommend a course of action: undertake this project, don’t undertake this project, do this other thing to make this project possible. Your recommendation can be as simple or as complex as it needs to be to respond to this project in this context.
Your final feasibility study report should follow the standard report format and it should provide the audience with enough information to support or engage your recommended decision. Make sure you explain the context (the problem being solved, the hierarchy of concerns, etc.), the range of possible responses, and the specific data that leads you to recommend this course of action. Remember, all corporate documentation is simultaneously a decision-making tool, an archival paper-trail, and a representation subject to legal action.
Feasibility reports often contain the following key components:
- Title Page
- Abstract/Executive Summary
- Table of Contents
- Introduction/Background Information
- Body which may include headings such as Methods, Discussion, Results, Survey Data, Data or Cost Analysis, Implementation, and others as appropriate.
- Conclusions & Recommendations
- Works Cited